You face both administrative and criminal penalties if you are stopped for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Maryland. One immediate consequence is that the police officer may confiscate your driver’s license and issue you an Order of Suspension at the scene of your traffic stop. If you receive an Order of Suspension, it is important to understand what this means in regards to your driving privileges and your right to request an administrative hearing.
What Is an Order of Suspension?
An Order of Suspension is an order that suspends your driver’s license. The police will issue it under these circumstances:
- You submitted to a breath or blood test, and your blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.08 percent or higher.
- You refused to submit to a breath or blood test after being asked to take one by the police.
When the officer issues an Order of Suspension, he confiscates your driver’s license and may issue you a 45-day temporary paper license.
Your Right to an Administrative Hearing If You Are Issued an Order of Suspension
If you received an Order of Suspension, you have a right to request an administrative hearing to show why your driver’s license should not be suspended. You have a right to request this hearing within 30 days of the date of the Order. However, if you want to be certain that your hearing is held before your 45-day temporary license expires, you must request a hearing within 10 days of the date of the Order.
You have to file your request for a hearing with the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). You must pay a $150 filing fee when you file your request. The OAH will send you a notice of the date and time of your hearing.
Another option you may have to avoid suspension of your driver’s license is to enroll in the Interlock Ignition Program within 30 days of the date of the Order of Suspension if you are eligible. To participate in this program, your driver’s license cannot be suspended, revoked, canceled, or refused.
What Happens If You Fail to Request an Administrative Hearing Within 10 Days?
If you fail to request a hearing within 10 days of the Order of Suspension or to enroll in the Interlock Ignition Program within 30 days of the Order, your driver’s license would be suspended on the 46th day. Your driver’s license would be suspended for a first offense for the following driver’s:
- Refusal to submit to test: 270 days
- BAC of 0.08 through 0.14: 180 days
- BAC of 0.15 or higher: 180 days if the offense involved no fatality and one year if the offenses involved a fatality
Have you or a family member received an Order of Suspension? Our knowledgeable DUI attorneys can help you decide whether requesting an administrative hearing or enrolling in the Interlock Ignition Program is in your best interests. To discuss your situation and how we can help, call our office to schedule a free consultation today.